All’s not so rosy on the Western Front

Good Morning!

I work in the same building that houses Victoria’s main newspaper, The Times Colonist. Because of this, I have access to a newspaper every morning (except Mondays and weekends), which I like to quickly read while I’m loading my systems for the day.

Along with my obsessive addiction to reading/watching international news every morning when i wake up (<3 Democracynow!), I do try to keep myself informed on whats going on locally as well.

This article stood out at me as it’s something I hear come up more and more frequently.

Hand made crafts are being devalued and have been devalued for some time now. When every other price is jacked up, there’s just no more money to support this. So when the organizers of the Olympics told BC and Vancouver residents that hosting the games would bring tourists and help support the economy. What I really see is a way for corporations who are not related to the local economy at all having a chance to make even more money.

I’m glad to see that someone is covering this side of things. Because while some may laugh off hand made crafts as a small group of people, we’re not. And not just in BC, but all over the world. The Internet is making it fairly obvious that there are a lot of talented people who are creating and crafting out there (Thank you Etsy).  That there are alternatives to mass produced garbage.

I wasn’t going to turn this into a I dislike the Olympics post. Most people who know me in person or online are pretty much aware of my thoughts on this. But I’m getting a lot of confusion on why I would be against something as amazing and fantastic as the Olympics.   Two thoughts have occurred to me. Either people just don’t know and see all the negative impacts that the Olympics bring to a city, or they don’t care.

For me, the first hurdle to getting behind the Olympics, is the problems with homelessness in BC. (Here is a good article about this very issue!) To me, the games should be something that should exist outside of a government agenda. There is a list of pressing concerns that we, as a province, as a country, and as a world, need to turn to. That we need to focus on.

I’ve come under fire for being anti-Olympics for no other reason than the notion of “hopping on the next protest band wagon”. This kind of thought is being presented as a counter argument to concerns stated. But where in this kind of reply, are the issues at hand being addressed? None of our concerns just suddenly sprung out of the ground randomly.  They exist and have existed while the government turns a blind eye to focus on it’s own agendas. *coughmoneycough*  When every eye looks to Vancouver to cheer on their country or athlete, we have a duty as human beings ,to speak out and direct attention to what is really important.

Missing and murdered women in BC is an issue. This link looks specifically at Indigenous women, but woman from all walks of life are disappearing in this Provence.  Violence against women is an issue everywhere.  Even in the heart of the western world. What is being done?

Canadian troops in Afghanistan is an issue. It may not be directly related to the problems in BC but this is huge concern that the average Canadian is woefully unaware of.

The fact that we can’t afford shelter for woman, day cares, programs for autistic children, etc but we can afford the Olympics. How much money has been spent on this?  What has been sacrificed in order to achieve these games? I really believe that the vote for the Olympics should have been Provence wide. But then of course, I back track this thought as I don’t think it would have made a difference, or we might be under different leadership.  I’ve never missed a vote since I’ve been of voting age both provincially and federally.  How many of you can say the same?

We should be concerned with the environmental fall out of this two week party. The idea that we had to ship snow in, because we didn’t have enough naturally, sends off huge red flags in my mind. Does no one else see this as a symptom of climate change? How many trees were cut down at Whistler to prepare for this? The forests of BC are already being ravaged by both fires and the Pine beetle and yet we take no responsibility for clearing even more of our forests to support the Olympics.

Vancouver has a large and growing drug problem.  A drug problem that people are trying to tackle with programs and workable solutions. Why is the federal government opposing a viable solution?

At the end of the day, I want it to be known that my concerns lie not with the athletes and the spirit of the sport. If the Olympics were a non profit community that worked towards leaving the cities that host it in a better state than when they started, my views would be different.   But when the biggest supporters are massive companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, which can’t even be consumed by athletes, (and should be looked at as a major health concern across the world) i have to stop and wonder at the motivations behind the Olympics.

We need to ask who really benefits at the end of the day? Because it certainly isn’t benefiting the people of BC who really need it.

I’m going to end on a quote here.   I’ve been reading a book called “The People Speak”.   It’s a collection of voices that spoke out against oppression of humanity. It was complied and edited together by the late Howard Zinn, a man of peace.  This is from a passage from the Women’s Declaration of Rights.  It was based on the existing declaration, by women who were tired of being thought of as nobody.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

For a long time now, we’ve been living in a world that is neither safe, nor happy.   And I applaud anyone who cares enough to speak about it.  We’re not a world filled with nobodies.  We’re a world 6 billion strong of somebodies. Every voice counts.

[Cross posting to Think as this is more of a rant on the State of the World]

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